With the number of shopping days to Christmas growing ever shorter, Samsung executives must have been wondering if it would see its Galaxy Tab 10.1 on the shelves of Australian stores before year end – or even ever.

The Sydney Morning Herald reported Friday that Apple’s request to appeal an earlier court decision overturning the ban on sales of the Galaxy 10.1 tablet was denied by the country’s High Court. As a result, the Korean company’s iPad rival will appear in stores next week. No really, it will.

The SMH called today’s decision “critical” because if it had gone against Samsung, the company might well have pulled the device from the country. Losing on Friday would have meant more pending court decisions and therefore more delays, with the likelihood that newer more up-to-date tablets would be on the market by the time the situation was resolved.

But now Samsung finally has the all-clear to find out if Australian consumers are interested in buying its Android device.

Commenting on the court’s decision, Tyler McGee, Samsung Australia vice president of telecommunications, said: “It’s fantastic for us and also for the consumers in Australia who now have the opportunity to play with the Galaxy [Tab 10.1].”

The original ban on the sale of Samsung’s device in Australia was imposed in October after Apple successfully argued that it infringed several of its patents and “slavishly” copied parts of the iPad’s design.

But it was overturned late last month by the Federal Court following a claim by Samsung lawyers that the judge who imposed the original ban had “misunderstood and misapplied” basic requirements of the law.

Apple immediately appealed, but the sales ban was finally lifted today.

Friday’s court encounter was the latest round in an ongoing bruising battle between the two electronics giants centered around patent infringement. And it’s not just Apple accusing Samsung of ripping off the design of its devices. In a French court on Thursday, Samsung lost in its bid to halt sales of Apple’s iPhone 4, claiming it copied aspects of the design of its Galaxy smartphones.